Canadian Beverage Association Comments on Decima/Harris Research

Canadians' Comments re a Bloomberg-inspired Ban

TORONTO, July 19, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Beverage Association believes that education NOT restrictions, will empower Canadians to make the food and beverage choices that are appropriate for them and their families. We believe that Canadian families are entitled to accurate, science-based information about the causes and potential solutions for obesity and obesity-related issues.

After reviewing the Decima/Harris research about Canadians attitudes regarding a Bloomberg-inspired ban, we feel that Decima/Harris is correct when they state:

  • Being able to make an informed choice is clearly desired while having these choices made for us is not.
  • Canadians are telling us that being told what you can or cannot have isn't the same as providing guidance. They're open to having their awareness levels elevated when it comes to their own behaviour and there is a wealth of industry players who could take on an educational role.

No single food or beverage causes weight gain or obesity - weight gain is an imbalance of calories consumed verses expended. It is misguided and inaccurate to suggest that targeting and restricting a single product, a product's size or category will successfully impact the issue of obesity.

Restricting the sale of any food or beverage is not the solution to obesity and it will not work in Canada. Canadians expect and deserve freedom of choice - they want the ability to make the food and beverage decisions that are right for them at the times that are right for them. The decision whether to consume a particular food or beverage, and the size of that food or beverage, should be up to the individual or to the parent involved in the decision making process. 

To this end, the Canadian Beverage Association and its members have under taken a number of concrete and meaningful actions to educate consumers on their products and help promote balanced active lifestyles.

Calories and Calorie Awareness

In 2011, the CBA and its members announced Clear on Calories, a front of pack caloric labeling initiative that was designed to help Canadians understand the caloric content and serving size of the beverages they were choosing. This initiative is currently rolling out across the country.

School Beverage Guidelines

To provide parents with more control over what their children consumed throughout the day our members introduced Industry Guidelines for the Sale of Beverages in Schools. Completed in 2009, this commitment removed full-calorie soft drinks and provided more lower-calorie, nutritious, and smaller-portion beverage options in elementary, middle and secondary schools nationwide. Energy drinks are not, nor have they ever been sold by our members in schools.

Beverage Consumption in Canada

The 2012 Statistics Canada report, Food Statistics1, identified that between 1999 and 2011 consumption of soft drinks in Canada has decreased by 32% yet at the same time obesity rates in Canada continued to rise significantly2.

Changing Face of Beverages

In addition, during the same period, the caloric content of the Canadian beverage portfolio (i.e. the total caloric content of all the beverage products consumed) produced by CBA members has declined by over 25%. This is a result of product innovation, the introduction of many new diet, and no- and low-calorie products.

Not only are Canadians consuming less soft drinks, but the total calories derived from those beverages have also decreased substantially.

The Canadian Beverage Association is the national trade association representing the broad spectrum of brands and companies that manufacture and distribute the majority of non-alcoholic refreshment beverages consumed in Canada.

For more information on the Canadian Beverage Association and our activities please visit: www.canadianbeverage.ca.

1 Soft drink consumption - Statistics Canada - Food available, by major food group 2010 http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/famil102c-eng.htm
2009 http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/21-020-x/2009001/tablesectlist-listetableauxsect-eng.htm

2 Statistics Canada. 2012. Health Trends.  Statistics Canada Catalogue No. 82-213-XWE. Ottawa. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/health-sante/82-213/index.cfm?Lang=ENG (accessed June 22, 2011)


SOURCE Canadian Beverage Association

For further information:

Stephanie Baxter
Canadian Beverage Association
Work: (416) 362-2424
Stephanie@canadianbeverage.ca
www.canadianbeverage.ca


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